When people aren’t living life the way they expect, they tend to find a way of coping with their issues. Every reality poses problems, some people find ways of hiding from their problems or in other words escaping from reality. Each of the unique main characters, Amanda, Laura, and Tom, in Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, have a difficulty accepting reality and have several ways of escaping from the problems.
Laura is painfully shy which affects how she interacts with others in the real world. She was enrolled in Business College and her mother hoped for her to one day get a good job and raise a family. Laura’s shyness kept her from doing well in school so she eventually dropped out. Also “a childhood illness left her crippled” so she wears a brace on one leg, which causes her to have even more insecurities about herself. To escape reality, Laura lives in her own little private world populated with glass animals.
They are her prized possessions. Her separation from reality increases until she believes she is as fragile as the animals in her glass collection. Tom, Laura’s brother, “a poet with a job in a warehouse”, hates his job. Even though Tom is capable of functioning in the real world he has no motivation in achieving a romantic relationship, engaging in friendships, or even getting a better job that pays more money. Instead he escapes reality by fantasizes about life through reading books and watching movies. He also deals with his problems by drinking.
Amanda, the mother of both Tom and Laura, has the most complicated relationship with reality in the play. Unlike her children, she really wants social and financial success. Her attachments to wanting these life values keep her from accepting the truth about her own life. Amanda cannot accept that she may be responsible for the flaws and sorrows of her children. The ways she escapes from reality may be even more pathetic than her children. Instead of living in this imaginative world like her kids, she doesn’t accept reality as it comes she goes out of her way to maneuver it, but gets nowhere.